Tax Marketing QuickTip #3: Riches in Niches

You can’t be all things to all people.

Here’s the cliche example: Physicians are regarded as being one of the highest paid occupational groups in America. But who usually earns more: A family practice doctor, or a heart surgeon?

The specialist makes more money.

On October 24, 2010, I flipped my boss the bird and walked out the door (long story — it had been brewing for a while). That’s the day I entered private practice, without a single client.

For the first several months, I took any and every tax resolution case I could find. I was tempted to work the 2011 tax prep season, but I chose not to, because I knew I could make more money if I stuck to my guns and grew my tax resolution clientele. I was a specialist.

Shortly after tax season was over, I was no longer taking any and every case. By late spring 2011, well over half my new tax resolution clients were family owned trucking companies. My fees and revenues continued to increase, because I had become a specialist within a particular niche.

By the end of August 2011, my tax resolution firm had billed over $35,000 in new revenue for the month, and I was working from Sapporo, Japan. Amazing things happen when you specialize and do niche marketing.

What specialization are you known for, that allows you to charge premium fees?

What high-profit niche do you serve, that allows you to command higher prices, even if you do nothing but 1040 return preparation?

Don’t accept just any client that walks in the door. Pick and choose. Position yourself properly, communicate your value proposition through marketing, and dominate a niche.

That’s how you get rich as an EA, CPA, or tax attorney. That’s how you create a lifestyle practice. Regardless of whether you want to galavant around the planet a few times like I did, you want a private jet, or you just want a big house on 40 acres, this is how you do it.

There are riches in niches. Specialize, pick a niche, and dominate it.

If you have decided that tax debt resolution is the right specialization for you, then I’d like to invite you to Baltimore for 3 days, or Los Angeles for 1 day. Whichever is most convenient for you, pick one (or both) and come learn how to knock it … Continue reading

Tax Marketing QuickTip #2: Your Website Sucks

Nearly every tax professional has a web site by now.

Unfortunately, 99% of those websites are garbage.

Your website is there to help you communicate the benefit of your services to visitors. In other words, more than anything else, your website is a marketing piece. Any other function of your web site, such as being a client document portal, is completely secondary to it’s primary function as a central component of your marketing presence.

Since this is a Tax Marketing QuickTip, I’m not going to go on a long tirade about what’s wrong with most tax firm websites. Instead, I’m going to give you my top 5 suggestions for what to include on your web site:

  1. Include a lead capture mechanism. Offer some sort of lead response widget in exchange for their contact information.
  2. Have a blog, and update it frequently. You want your website to rank high in Google. The single most important component of this is to have high quality content on your web site that is updated frequently.
  3. Don’t hide. One of the first places most visitors go when they get to a tax firm website is the “About” page. On this page, visitors want to see a human being. That’s YOU. Have a photo, your full name, and a little bit about you. New tax clients are looking to make a human connection, don’t be anonymous and try to hide behind a corporate identity.
  4. Use client testimonials. Testimonials still matter. This is NOT an outdated marketing idea. Ask your clients for testimonials, and stick them online. Visitors WILL respond positively to this.
  5. Connect your social media accounts. You don’t have to be a social media machine, but your web site should be set up to allow visitors to connect with you on the social media platforms that you’re willing to use. For example, I despise Facebook, but I can stomach Twitter and LinkedIn, so I restrict people to connecting with me on just those two platforms.

If your web site is missing any of these five critical elements, then I would encourage you to correct the situation ASAP. Doing just these five things will put your web site into the top 1% of tax and accounting practice web sites.

Want a full critique of your tax firm web site? Want hands-on help in making a your online presence a profit center rather than just an expense? Let’s … Continue reading

Tax Marketing QuickTip #1: Referrals

This is the first in a new series of short, actionable QuickTips to help you build a better tax firm. Most of these QuickTips won’t be Earth-shattering, by any means, but I hope that they serve as reminders for you to take at least 10 or 15 minutes every day to do something to improve your tax or accounting practice.

Today: Referrals.

When was the last time you asked your existing clients for referrals to new clients?

If this is something you only do one a year during tax season, you’re losing out on a golden opportunity to capture new clients while your competition isn’t doing marketing.

The process here is super simple:

1. Make a list of your 20 to 50 best clients. The type of client you want more of. Not the clients that make you cringe when you see them on your appointment calendar.

2. Send them all a letter NOW thanking them for their business this year, and asking for three referrals to their family, friends, and colleagues. Ask them to complete a web form, or include a referral form and ask them to fax, mail, or email it back to you. The number three is important, the psychological explanation of which is beyond the scope of a QuickTip.

3. If you feel the desire to incentivize referrals, offer your clients a dinner for two at a nice local restaurant, or use a service such as Giftbit to obtain gift cards that you only have to pay for if they’re actually redeemed.

4. Contact those referrals immediately.

5. Ten to 14 days later, send your 20 to 50 client list another letter, thanking everybody for all the referrals they sent, expressing how much you love working with them, and how you are grateful for their assistance in growing your business. Do this even for the people that didn’t send referrals. Include another copy of the referral submission form.

See what we just did there in step 5? That’s the key to the whole thing. 🙂

Want longer versions of these QuickTips, along with future copies of the actual letters, checklists, and more? Then check out the all new Tax Marketing HQ Digital Pass.… Continue reading